The Military Spouse JD Network is an international network of legal professionals improving the lives of military families. We advocate for licensing accommodations for military spouses, including bar membership without additional examination. MSJDN includes military spouses and partners from all branches of the United States Military: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy as well as spouses of retired service members and legal and military organizations who support our mission.

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On the Blog

MSJDN Member Named ABA Immigra…

MSJDN Member Named ABA Immigration Justice Project Attorney of the Yea…

On October 24, 2014, MSJDN Member Maria Chavez-Black received the Attorney of the Year award from th… Read More

Natalie Wilson

5 days ago

 

MSJDN Supports Servicemembers…

MSJDN Supports Servicemembers and their Families through Virtual Legal…

The Military Spouse JD Network (MSJDN) is a group of military spouse attorneys, founded in 2011 by t… Read More

Elizabeth Jamison

2 weeks ago

 

MSJDN Welcomes New State Licen…

MSJDN Welcomes New State Licensing Chair

Military Spouse J.D. Network is pleased to announce that Kari-Lynn Wenciker has accepted the rol… Read More

Elizabeth Jamison

3 weeks ago

 

A Profile of Colorado's First…

A Profile of Colorado’s First Military Spouse Attorney Admittee

“This is amazing. A group that is sympathetic and understanding of what I am going through!” That wa… Read More

Anette Radonski

3 weeks ago

 

Advancing the Interests of Wom…

Advancing the Interests of Women in the Legal Profession

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been mistaken for the court reporter when you walk into a room to tak… Read More

Stephanie Halford

4 weeks ago

 

Our Mission:

MSJDN supports military spouses by:
- Advocating for licensing accommodations, including bar membership without additional examination,
- Providing education about the challenges facing military families,
- Encouraging hiring military spouses, and
- Providing a support network.
- MSJDN includes military spouses and partners from all branches of the United States Military: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy as well as spouses of retired service members and legal and military organizations who support our mission.

The Barriers:
Geographic Insecurity
Military Families are geographically insecure, moving every two to three years, often with tours overseas. These moves are based on the needs of the U.S. government, and are mandatory for the service-member. Although the spouse and children may technically refuse to move, this causes obvious hardships on families already often separated by deployments.

Legal Profession
Attorneys are required to be licensed in each state where they practice. Licensing can take up to a year, sometimes more, for the application, character and fitness review, bar examination, and processing. Licensing can cost $4,000 to $5,000 each time for preparation materials and fees. All gaps in employment must be justified on bar applications and can cause delays in admission.

What this means for our Members
It is not unusual for our members to have taken 3 or 4 different bar examinations. Less than 1/3 of MSJDN members have full-time legal employment. Half of MSJDN members are unemployed and actively looking for work, under-employed in non-attorney positions as paralegals/secretaries, or can only find part-time work. MSJDN members report that the biggest challenge to finding and keeping employment is frequent moves and lack of portable employment opportunities.

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